IAAPA 2004: Holiday World wins coveted Applause Award

Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2004 2:38 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: Press release follows.]

ORLANDO, FL-----Exactly a year after becoming a finalist in the theme park industry’s coveted Applause Awards, Holiday World was named the 2004-2005 winner of the international award this morning in Orlando, Florida.

“We are thrilled beyond words,” says Will Koch, president and general manager of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. “To be honored by our peers at this level is nearly unbelievable. We all keep pinching ourselves.”

Koch, along with about a dozen members of his staff, is in Orlando this week attending the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) convention. The Applause Award was announced this morning during the “What’s New Theater” general session.

“This award is a reflection of the spirit of our staff,” says Koch. “Our full-time staff and seasonal employees believe in our innovations such as free soft drinks and free sunscreen. They embrace our determination to be the cleanest and friendliest park. It’s their hard work that we honor with this incredible award.”

The Applause Award, which is presented by Amusement Business trade journal and Sweden’s Liseberg Park, is a highly coveted international honor. The criteria for the award include foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability.

Last fall, Holiday World was the only park in the U.S. to be named a finalist in the Applause Awards, which is presented every two years. The other finalists were Gardaland in Verona, Italy; and Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark.

With annual attendance of 883,000 in 2004, Holiday World is the smallest park ever to win an Applause Award. Previous winners of the Applause Award are Disneyland, Universal Studios Florida, Cedar Point of Sandusky, Ohio; and Europa Park in Germany.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004 2:44 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Congrats to Will, Pat, Paula, and everyone at Holiday World. I can't think of a more deserving park or staff!

Now, if only Will can be so overcome with joy that he goes on a spending spree at IAAPA...LOL! Hopefully he'll stop by the GCI or Gravity Group booth ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 3:11 PM
If you build it...

...They will come....

...and then some! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 3:43 PM
CPLady's avatar An award that is well deserved, IMO. Congrats to the Holiday World "family".
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 4:35 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar Congrats guys!


Wednesday, November 17, 2004 4:40 PM
Thanks! Mrs. Koch (who is 73) was so thrilled...when she ran up on stage she jumped into the arms of the person who just announced the award. And I mean *jumped* --wrapped her legs around him and everything.

What a woman! :)


Wednesday, November 17, 2004 5:43 PM
Congrats! The award is very much deserved :)
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 6:02 PM
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.

They didn't just build it, they operate it wonderfully every day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 6:39 PM
There's a picture of the Kochs winning the Applause Award today on my blog here if anyone's interested.

Have Fun and congratulations to my hometown park on winning the Applause Award.

Paul Drabek

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 7:06 PM
Congratulations! Couldn't have happened to a nicer park & people. :)
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 7:47 PM
Congrats To the owners!
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 8:02 PM
Congrats! I heart HW.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 11:06 PM
Great news. Yet more proof that you are one of the truly great parks.

I just wish you were closer to my home... ;) As it is, HW is my "home away from home" park...

Thursday, November 18, 2004 12:21 AM
Hey, Silver Dollar City also won this award. Why did you leave them off the list? ;)

Way to go Paula and the rest of the HW gang! WoooHooo!!!


Thursday, November 18, 2004 8:53 AM
Thanks, Swoosh!

In writing the news release, I opted to list the Applause parks that I thought our locals would most readily recognize. No offense was intended to the parks I didn't list.


Thursday, November 18, 2004 9:57 AM
TheRealCP's avatar Congrats! Well-deserved - this past year was my first trip to HW and I put it right up there with my first trip to Disneyland. :D

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